What The Bible Says

What The Bible Says

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What The Bible Says - Vol. 1 / No. 17

Sunday, January 13, 2019

What The Bible Says

Vol. I - No. 17 / January 13, 2019

HOW TO EVALUATE A CONGREGATION

 

    How do you evaluate a congregation? We all do it. We decide that a particular church is "good", another is "so-so", and yet another is not what we like at all. While we understand that such judgments are natural and necessary, our concern is about the basis upon which we make these choices. We have heard Christians who make comments like:

    a. “That church is not friendly.”
    b. “The preacher preaches too long."
    c. “They keep the building too hot/cold."

Or, on the positive side:

    1. “They have activities for young folks.”
    2. “They have a lot of get-togethers."
    3. "We like to hear that song leader."
 
    Would you like to know the true basis for determining a "good" church? Let Jesus show you. Read the letters to the seven church of Asia (Revelation 2 & 3). Two of those seven churches (Smyrna and Philadelphia) receive high praise and no rebuke. Both of those churches were commended for their dedicated stand for the truth, even in the face of persecution. There's no hint of the superficial social activity that so many people are looking for. These were simply congregations that took a strong stand for the truth and demonstrated a die-hard conviction for what was right.

    Would you have been happy as a member at Smyrna or Philadelphia? We can't guarantee that the folks there were overtly "friendly" or that there were lots of "get-togethers" or that the singing was topnotch. They were just dedicated Christians doing their spiritual work. Would this be enough for you? It was for Jesus!
—Greg Gwin
Via THE BEACON 1-8-19

 

CHURCH MARQUES

   The outdoor signs, which many churches have in front of their buildings, reveal much about their beliefs and practices. One I passed the other day said, "By The Authority Of God's Word, I Am A Blood Bought Child Of The King". If I understand the meaning, they are saying that what they did to become a child of the King is authorized by God in His word. That is, indeed, a wonderful and beautiful statement; IF IT IS TRUE!

    Being familiar with the denomination which made this statement, here is what they practice in the matter of becoming a child of the King: "The repentance which the Gospel requires includes a deep conviction, a penitential sorrow, an open confession, a decided hatred, and an entire forsaking of all sin. This repentance God has enjoined on all men; and without it in this life the sinner must perish eternally.” THE FREE WILL BAPTIST TREATISE, Chapter IX, Article 106,107. "All men are required to believe in Christ, and those who yield obedience to this requirement become the children of God by faith." Ibid, Chapter X, Article 114. Thus, their belief and practice is to be saved by repentance and faith.

    Indeed, the Scriptures teach repentance and faith as a part of becoming a child of the King. Peter told those in Acts 2:36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel, KNOW ASSUREDLY that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Believing or knowing assuredly that Jesus was, indeed, "Lord and Christ", they replied in verse 37, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?". To which Peter replied in verse 38, "Repent". Thus far we see and have "authority of God's word" for repenting and believing in order to become a child of the King. This is what the church, which had the marque, believes and practices: repentance and faith to become a child of the King.

    However, is faith and repentance ALL that Peter told them to do? Let's read verse 38 again: "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." In this statement, Peter is telling those who believe that Jesus is Lord and Christ to "repent, AND be baptized" for the remission (forgiveness) of sins. Whatever relationship repentance has to the “remission of sins", so does baptism!

    It's the same thing expressed by Jesus in Mark 16:16: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Whatever relationship "believeth" has to being saved, so does being "baptized". Thus we have Jesus and Peter joining baptism to faith and repentance. In order to be “saved" and to have "remission of sins", God's word teaches faith and repentance and baptism are necessary.

    You cannot be saved before believing. Neither can you be saved before baptism. Belief and baptism come BEFORE a person is saved (Mark 16:16). You cannot have the remission (forgiveness) of sins before repenting. Neither can you have remission (forgiveness) of sins before baptism. Repentance and baptism come BEFORE the remission (forgiveness) of sins.

    Therefore, we are not a child of the King before we believe, repent, and are baptized. For anyone to teach that a person can become a child of the King by JUST believing on Christ and repenting of their sins is not teaching by the authority of God's word. God’s word nowhere teaches that sins are forgiven by just believing and repenting. 

    No one, since the resurrection of Christ, has become a child of the King without: (1) HEARING God's word. For "faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17); (2) FAITH in Christ. "Without faith it is impossible to please Him" (Hebrews 11:6); (3) REPENTING of sins. "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) (Also, Acts 2:38, quoted above.); (4) CONFESSING Christ to be God's Son. "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Acts 8:37); and (5) being BAPTIZED for the remission of sins. (Acts 2:38, already quoted).

    Therefore, by the authority of God's word, we must sincerely declare those who believe they are children of the King by repenting and believing are not His children. The reason why this must be said? They are unwilling to take ALL that God has said on the subject. Therefore, they are without authority from God.

- E.R. Hall, Jr. 

 

SENTENCE SERMONS

A mind with no spiritual inclinations makes no sense.
***
He who is waiting for something to turn up might start with his own shirt sleeves.
***
Your temper is like a fire.  It gets very destructive when it gets out of control.
***
Conscience is God's built-in warning system.  Be very happy when it hurts you.  Be very worried when it doesn’t.
***
Although the tongue weighs very little, few people are able to hold it.

 


"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in the next mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr. 

SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
meeting at
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Sunday
Bible Classes …………..….……………     9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….………  10:30 AM
Evening Worship   …………………........ 5:00 PM
Wednesday
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
 

Radio Program
Sunday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM …………………………..  8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
 

Website: www. eastalbertville.org

What The Bible Says - Vol. 1 / No. 16

Sunday, December 30, 2018

What The Bible Says

Vol. I - No. 16 / December 30, 2018

THE LAST DAY

      The last day of the year is a day to remind us that everything comes to an end. Each year has a beginning and an end as does each month, each week and each day. The new year is only the beginning of twelve months that end on December 31. Life is expressed in the cycle of time that has a beginning and has an end. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

    As we begin to reflect upon the new horizon of 2019 we should also pause to reflect the sober reminder that we are mortal creatures that have a beginning and at least on this earth – an end. Yet the irony of this message is that we still exist beyond death. Our ending here is a beginning in eternity and upon the frail time of space we share in life eternity depends. “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

    The last day of the year is a day of reflection. It reminds us that time does not stand still. We grow older with each passing year and draw nearer to our eternal abode. Paul looked at his life near its end and said, “For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure is come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day: and not only to me, but also to all them that have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8). He looked back on his life and forward to the life to come. The apostle had confidence in his life in service to Christ. His last day was fast approaching and he could see the fight coming to an end; the race nearly completed; the maturing of his faith in God as nearly complete. Can we have the same hope as Paul on this last day?

    He also looked forward to a new day coming. This hope was built upon faithful service to the Kingdom of God. Paul knew that his last day on earth would propel him to that eternal home with God. What vision to live with faith in this life that will guide us across the final day. The final day for the Christian is the beginning of the eternal day with the Father. The last day of mortality will be the beginning of our immortal joy. “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).

    The last day is a day of victory. It will be a time when all the grace of God is revealed and the joy of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ will be revealed in the resurrection. The last day of this year should be a time of victory to see how we have grown in our faith toward God - looking forward to that final last day of our life; whether in death or in the glorious coming of our Savior. December 31 – the last day! What a great day to reflect and enjoy the blessings of God. The new year gives opportunity to strive with more zeal to live for the last day. It will not be a day of sadness but a day of awakening. The last day is a day that will last in eternity when we are found faithful. 
—Kent Heaton

 

A REALLY "BIG" WORD

    We are saved, "IF" we keep in memory God's Word. "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, IF ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. “(1 Corinthians 15:1,2)

    We are the house of God, "IF" we hold fast to the end. "And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; who house we are, IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." (Hebrews 3:5,6)

    We are holy, "IF" we continue in the faith. “And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in His sight: IF ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;" (Colossians 1:21-23)

    We are cleansed by His blood, "IF" we walk in the light. "But IF we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)

    We will never fall, "IF" we do these things. "And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For IF these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for IF ye do these things, ye shall never fall:" (2 Peter 1:5-10) 
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

SENTENCE SERMONS

 If a child isn’t taught to obey a parent who is visible, he’ll never learn to obey a God who isn’t.
***
If you want a spiritually healthy family,

you must make sure that every member has a steady diet of the Word of God.
***
Preparation is essential, no matter the project; how much more essential regarding eternal matters.
***
It doesn’t make sense to regulate your actions by any other standard than that by which you will be judged

– the Word of God.

 


"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in the next mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr. 

SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
meeting at
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Sunday
Bible Classes …………..….……………     9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….………  10:30 AM
Evening Worship   …………………........ 5:00 PM
Wednesday
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
 

Radio Program
Sunday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM …………………………..  8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
 

Website: www. eastalbertville.org

What The Bible Says - Vol. 1 / No. 15

Sunday, December 16, 2018

What The Bible Says

Vol. I - No. 15 / December 15, 2018

MAKING IT EASY

“WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH
GETTING TO HEAVEN...TITUS 3:5
BAPTISM AND HOLDING OUT FAITHFUL TO
THE END ARE WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
AND THEREFORE HAVE
NOTHING TO DO WITH GETTING SAVED
DON'T BE DECEIVED, YOU DON'T HAVE TO
WAIT TILL YOU DIE TO KNOW THAT
YOU'RE GOING TO HEAVEN
You Can Be 100% Sure Of Heaven Right Now!!"
DICKENSON STAR Newspaper, Jan. 21,1998 


    Yes, everybody is interested in having things made easy and it is no different in religious matters.This advertisement, printed in a local newspaper when I lived in Virginia, is proof. You will note that the only passage of scripture given as proof was Titus 3:5. Before we can come to a conclusion of truth from one verse, we must be sure that verse has been kept in context. How many times have you had someone to take a word or sentence of something you said out of context and make it mean something that you did not intend? This can be true of verses and words that are used from the Bible. We must always keep them in context.

    Titus 3:5 is a verse found in the midst of teaching by the apostle Paul which actually began back in verse 3 and continues through verse 8. "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another." (Verse 3). The apostle is showing the sinful state of mankind. Truly, "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23, also Galatians 3:22). "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared," (Verse 4). Yes, God so loved the world, He gave His Son (John 3:16) and "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Therefore, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;" (Verse 5). Mankind was in sin, separated from God by their own choosing. The context clearly shows man was not responsible for the plan of salvation; the plan was a show of mercy and grace (verse 7) on the part of God. God never owed us salvation! We were the SINNERS! We did nothing to deserve what God has done for us. However, this ad would have us to believe that God has given us nothing to do concerning this plan He has made. This ad would have us to believe that God has make it easy because there's nothing for us to do! That is not the context!

    Don't get me wrong. God has made it easy but not in the way this ad would have us believe. God has made possible something that otherwise would have been impossible: SALVATION!

    The ad states: "Works of righteousness have nothing to do with going to heaven". Another simple rule of Bible study which must always be observed is: Don't draw a conclusion from one verse that clearly contradicts another verse. The Scriptures harmonize; they do not contradict. If the statement of this ad is correct, these verses are definitely contradicted:

  • Acts 10:34,35 "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth Him, and WORKETH RIGHTEOUSNESS, is accepted with Him.” 
  • 1 John 2:29 "If we know that He (Christ) is righteous, ye know that every one that DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS  is born of Him."
  • 1 John 3:10 "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: WHOSOEVER DOETH NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD, neither he that loveth not his brother."

    The ad also states "Baptism and holding out faithful to the end are works of righteousness and therefore have nothing to do with getting saved". I wonder if the one placing this ad would say a person must BELIEVE to be saved? If so, what will he do with Romans 10:10 "For with the heart man BELIEVETH UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS;...". If all works are excluded in our being saved, what is he going to do with John 6:28,29 and 2 Thessalonians 1:11 which say that BELIEVING IS A WORK?

    There are certain works of righteousness which will not save. In Romans 10:1-4, Paul spoke of his fellow Jews who were lost and needed to be saved. Yet to be saved, they were going to have to submit to the righteousness of God and stop going about establishing their own righteousness. This is exactly what denominations are doing today. They are establishing their own righteousness by devising their own systems of religion, their own plan of salvation, their own churches, their own worship, etc., etc. Book, chapter, and verse cannot be given for what they believe and practice while rightly dividing God's word at the same time.

    The ad is right on one point: “You don't have to wait before you die to know if you are going to heaven. You can be 100% sure of heaven”. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YE DO THESE THINGS, YE SHALL NEVER FALL: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:4-11). 

    It is unavoidable: We must work the righteousness of God in order to be saved and go to heaven.
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

DO YOU ACT OR REACT?

    I walked with my friend, a Quaker, to the newsstand the other night, and he bought a paper, thanking the newsie politely. The newsie didn't even acknowledge it. "A sullen fellow, isn't he?" I commented.  "Oh, he's that way every night," shrugged my friend. "Then why do you continue to be so polite to him?" I asked. "Why not?" inquired my friend. "Why should I let him decide how I'm going to act?" 

    As I thought about this incident later, it occurred to me that the important word was "act." My friend acts toward people; most of us react toward them. He has a sense of inner balance which is lacking in most of us; he knows who he is, what he stands for, how he should behave. He refuses to return incivility for incivility, because then he would no longer be in command of his own conduct. When we are enjoined in the Bible to return good for evil, we look upon this as a moral injunction - which it is. But it is also a psychological prescription for our emotional health. 

    Nobody is unhappier than the perpetual reactor. His center of emotional gravity is not rooted within himself, where it belongs, but in the world outside him. His spiritual temperature is always being raised or lowered by the social climate around him, and he is a mere creature at the mercy of these elements. 

    Praise gives him a feeling of euphoria, which is false, because it does not last and it does not come from self-approval. Criticism depresses him more than it should, because it confirms his own secret shaky opinion of himself. Snubs hurt him, and the merest suspicion of unpopularity in any quarter rouses him to bitterness. 

    A serenity of spirit cannot be achieved until we become the masters of our own actions and attitudes. To let someone else determine whether we shall be rude or gracious, elated or depressed, is to relinquish control over our own personalities, which is ultimately all we possess....The only true possession is self-possession. 
—-Sidney Harris

 

SENTENCE SERMONS

 A sharp tongue does not necessarily indicate keen thinking. 
***
True wealth is not determined by the size of a man's bank account. 
***
When compared to the burden of sin, the yoke of Christ is easy and His burden is light. 
***
It is not what you think, but what God's Word says that will judge you at the last day. 

 


"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in the next mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr. 

SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
meeting at
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Sunday
Bible Classes …………..….……………     9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….………  10:30 AM
Evening Worship   …………………........ 5:00 PM
Wednesday
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
 

Radio Program
Sunday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM …………………………..  8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
 

Website: www. eastalbertville.org

What The Bible Says - Vol. 1 / No. 14

Sunday, December 02, 2018

What The Bible Says

Vol. I - No. 14 / December 2, 2018

THE VALUE OF MODESTY

     The Bible says, "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God…." (1 Pet. 4:11). "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (and women), who suppress (hold down) the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18).     

    Louis L'Amour was a premier novelist. His fascinating stories of the old west have been bestsellers. L'Amour had a vast personal library dealing with American frontier lore, and he was meticulous in producing works that are extremely accurate in terms of the culture of the 1800s.

    Some years ago a national magazine published an article by L'Amour which addressed the manner in which women were viewed in the Old West. He observed that almost uniformly they were treated with great respect, even by the roughest of men. He noted that, as a rule, females could travel alone hundreds of miles by stagecoach and feel quite secure, because men regarded them so highly, and were extremely protective of the "fairer" sex.

    Those days are gone and have been for quite a while. Nowadays, a woman can hardly walk unescorted down a crowded street without being verbally assaulted or in some fashion sexually harassed. Most men in sizable cities do not want their wives driving alone at night. One recent author believes she knows, at least in part, a cause for this dramatic shift in attitude toward women. She says it involves the "loss of modesty."

    Wendy Shalit, a young Jewish writer, is creating a considerable stir in the media with the publication of her new book, A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue. This volume has been hailed by some as a work that will "change society"; others-especially feminists-vehemently denounce it; even suggesting it should be banned.

    Ms. Shalit says that her initial exposure to our grossly "immodest" culture commenced when she was in the fourth grade. She was introduced to a "sex education" course (it should be spelled "coarse"), from which her parents presently removed her. She argues that such classes should be "completely abolished" because they erode one's natural sense of modesty. Modesty, she contends, is an innate, psychological barrier which protects youngsters as their personalities are developing.

    Later, as a student at Williams College in Massachusetts, Shalit was appalled by coed restrooms and other on-campus, sex-related problems. She wrote a piece about these practices which was eventually published in Reader's Digest.

    The thesis of A Return to Modesty is that the so-called "sexual revolution" has robbed society of many of its most valuable virtues; for one thing, a sense of self-worth. She contends that the breakdown of modesty among young girls has led to an exploding level of promiscuity, and that "every single study" of this moral degeneracy has revealed that "low self-esteem is correlated with early intercourse for girls."

    Shalit argues that the modern loss of modesty has spawned a host of serious problems that have robbed women of genuine happiness. She cites early feminists who believed that if women abandoned their natural instincts toward modesty, devastating consequences would eventually result.

    The author unhesitatingly charges that modern feminists, together with women's magazines, and the so-called "mental health industry," have, in concert, contributed to the numerous difficulties women now are encountering. She cites, for example, feminists like Naomi Wolf, who has suggested that there is a "shadow slut" lurking somewhere in every woman's personality, just waiting to be liberated.

    Ms. Shalit contends that modesty is not a disease of which women need to be cured! "It is high time sexual modesty came out of the closet," she writes. "Not only can you not get AIDS from it, not only is it morally right, but . . . modesty is really much more exciting than promiscuity."

    My own conviction is this. If women would learn to be women again, instead of trying to emulate the conduct of crude and profane men; if they would learn to speak, dress, and act like ladies again, instead of portraying the image of foul-mouthed, street-corner prostitutes; if they would return to the biblical norm of femininity, whole new vistas would open to them, which they would discover as wonderful, exciting, and fulfilling.

    Modern immodesty has not liberated women; rather, it has enslaved them to lifestyles that have only degraded them, and marred the glorious image their Creator intended them to enjoy. All mature women can envision certain fashions they loathe to the point of saying with hyperbole, "I wouldn't be caught dead in that." There is nothing wrong with admiring a certain style (as long as it is not ungodly) and we all have to learn to tolerate others whose taste in fashion differs widely from our own.

    However, the truth is, there are a lot of bodies roaming America in various stages of UNDRESS which indicates they are spiritual corpses. In the discerning eyes of faithful Christians (Heb. 5:14), these who shamelessly show their skin are seen for what they really are: spiritually dead and in need of the Gospel to save their souls and instill godly standards of dress.

    Every time they venture into public in their short skirts, short shorts, thong swimsuits, skin tight clothes, revealing dresses, low cut blouses, see through fabric, midriff-revealing tops, etc., they are, literally, "caught dead" in them. They are like those whom Jesus described as, "...whited sepulchers, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness" (Matt. 23:27).

    When it comes to nakedness, society's definition and God's are not synonymous. Society tells us a woman (or man) with a few inches of fabric barely covering the barest essentials is clothed - especially if he or she is on the beach. God's concept is quite to the contrary.

    From the third chapter of Genesis, we notice that after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened and they saw they were naked. So, they sewed fig leaves together to make loincloths. Surely this leafy loincloth covered at least as much as today's modern swim-wear. But it is very revealing (pardon the pun) that later, when God came to the garden, they hid. Why? Adam said they hid because they were naked - even though they had on the fig leaves (vs. 10). God seems to concur when, in verse 11, He asked Adam, "Who told you that you were naked?"

    Later, God made them both garments ("coats" of animal skins) covering enough so that they were no longer naked. Interestingly, the word for the garments God made Adam and Eve is the same Hebrew word (ketonet) used for the coat of many colors which Jacob made for Joseph (Gen. 37:3). God did not give Eve a mini-skirt.
   
    Later, in giving instructions for what the priests were to wear, God told Moses "And you shall make for them linen trousers to cover their nakedness; they shall reach from the waist to the thighs" (Ex. 28:42). The thigh is everything between the waist and the knee. Thus, for God's priests to expose anything above the knee would be to expose nakedness (and these were all men!). It goes without saying that godly Israelite women were not parading their thighs in public, either.  
    
    Isaiah prophesied of Babylon's destruction, describing it as a virgin trying to escape through a river:  1 "Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called Tender and delicate. 2 Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, Take off the skirt, Uncover the thigh, Pass through the rivers. 3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered, Yes, your shame will be seen" (Isa. 47:1-3).

    In this passage God tells Babylon that her nakedness would be uncovered (v. 3). How? Verse 2 indicates (1) her veil would be removed; (2) her skirt would be removed; and (3) her thighs would be uncovered. Result: her nakedness would be exposed.
   
    There seems to emerge a consistent biblical concept that uncovered legs - at least anything above the knee (i.e. the thigh) - are viewed by God as nakedness. In light of several Bible passages, God expects men and women to be clothed in something that - at a minimum - reaches down to the knees. If someone wants to take issue with that conclusion, let him or her produce the Scripture that teaches you can be modest while revealing your thighs.

    Mary Martini, a godly sister in Christ, has compiled several helpful questions to determine what is proper to wear. I highly commend these questions for your consideration.

    And remember, concerning any fashion not up to God's standard of decency, let us all say, "I wouldn't be caught dead in that."

The Dress Test for Women Professing Godliness

  •     Look at yourself in a full length mirror - front, back and side.  Ask yourself:

  •     Will what I'm wearing bring God glory (1 Cor. 10:31; Ex. 28:40, 43; Isa. 61:3) and portray me as a godly woman (1 Tim. 2:9-10)?

  •     Does what I'm wearing meet or exceed God's standard for being modest (Gen. 3:21; Ex. 20:26; 28:40-43)? Will my clothing help or hurt my influence for Christ (Rom. 13:10; 15:3; Phil. 2:3-4)?

  •     Is it too short? Sit down, cross your legs, reach up, bend over and squat down. At any time, does the garment reveal any of your leg above your knees (Ex. 28:42)? Does it emphasize my sexuality, thus tantalizing, enticing or tempting men to have impure thoughts (Matt. 18:7; Gal. 5:19 - lasciviousness)? Will it encourage a man to lust after me, thus causing him to stumble and sin (Rom. 14:13; 1 Cor. 8:9; Matt. 5:27-28)?

  •     Is the neckline too low? Bend over - what can you see? Sit. Have another female tell you what they can see while looking down at you (men serving the Lord's Supper say this is a problem).

  •     Is it too sheer? Can I see my skin or undergarments through the material (With tops and blouses, is your midriff showing at any time (Gen. 3:21)? Is it too tight? Am I revealing my body form - undergarments exposed - naked in God's eyes - John 21:7)? If sleeveless, are my undergarments visible (John 21:7)? Is it appropriate and respectful (Gen. 41:14; Matt. 22:11-14)?

  •     When I come to worship, would someone think I was going to a picnic or other social activity, or can they tell I'm giving my best in my worship to God (Ex. 20:26)?

  •     Because of how I'm dressed, would someone mistake me for a worldly woman (a harlot - Prov. 7:10; Gen. 38:15)? Is what I'm wearing stating that I'm dressed to be chaste (pure and holy) or chased (by men)?

  •     Remember---God may hold me responsible for wrong reactions if I dress inappropriately (Matt. 5:27-28; 14:1-12).    

       - - Mary Martini

     Loved ones, let us dress properly as spiritual children of God, "that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed" (Rev. 3:18). Let us be in appearance what/who we claim to be, CHRISTIANS ONLY! (Acts 11:26; Jam 2:7; 1 Pet. 4:16; Phil. 3:20-21). “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth, for your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:2, 3; Eph. 1:3; see Phil. 4:8, 13).


(Condensed due to length. ERH)
—Sam Matthews

 

SELF CONTROL

    What is the value of self-control? Self-control is that which enables us to hold our tongues when we are tempted to viciously put someone in his place once and for all; or when we know a juicy bit of gossip that would be entertaining to the group and would turn us into the "life of the party"; or when an occasion almost demands that we betray a confidence that must not be betrayed under any circumstances.

    Self-control is that which enables us to control our passions when another is provoking us to anger; that keeps the clinched fists in the pockets when the agitator is only half our size; that keeps the lips sealed when another is railing and swearing at us. Self-control is that which enables us to be like our Lord "who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously" (I Peter 2:23).

    Self-control is that which enables us to maintain purity of heart and to thrust out evil thoughts before they can take root; that enables us to place the best possible construction on another person's actions when unproven rumors could easily destroy our confidence in him; that helps us to maintain a cheerful disposition when everything around us has turned sour. Self-control is that which enables us to love the unlovable and to hate that which the world loves.

    Self-control is that which enables us to rule our appetites; to say "no" when our lusts would lead us to sin or when that which is harmful to our health is placed before us. Self-control is that which enables the smoker to put down his cigarettes and the alcoholic to put down his drink and never return to it. Self-control is that which enables us to rule rather than to be enslaved.

    The Bible does not glorify the indifferent and impassive. It is not our goal to be uncaring. To be like Paul, we must be able to have our spirit stirred within us when we are surrounded by evil (Acts 17:16). To be like our Lord, we must sometimes feel anger when surrounded by hypocritical self-righteousness (Mark 3:5); we must even react with occasional outbursts of goodness on occasions, as when the Lord cleansed the temple (John 2:13-17). But, all such outbursts must be tempered with self-control, that in our anger we "do not sin" (Ephesians 4:26).

    God does not view our uncontrolled actions with amusement. Our temper tantrums and harsh, unbridled words are soul threatening, a potential bar to the abundant entrance into the Lord’s everlasting kingdom (2 Peter 1:5-11). We must not minimize the danger. We must not surrender to this evil.

    What is the value of self-control? It is one of the qualities that enable us to go to heaven. The possessor of it is rich indeed.
—Bill Hall

 

SENTENCE SERMONS

 A sharp tongue does not necessarily indicate keen thinking. 
***
True wealth is not determined by the size of a man's bank account. 
***
When compared to the burden of sin, the yoke of Christ is easy and His burden is light. 
***
It is not what you think, but what God's Word says that will judge you at the last day. 

 


"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in the next mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr. 

SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
meeting at
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Sunday
Bible Classes …………..….……………     9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….………  10:30 AM
Evening Worship   …………………........ 5:00 PM
Wednesday
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
 

Radio Program
Sunday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM …………………………..  8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
 

Website: www. eastalbertville.org

What The Bible Says - Vol. 1 / No. 13

Sunday, November 18, 2018

What The Bible Says

Vol. I - No. 13 / November 18, 2018

THE CONVERSION OF CORNELIUS

  The conversion of the first Gentile to the gospel of Christ is recorded in Acts 10:1-49 and is retold by the apostle Peter in Acts 11:1-18. There are many good lessons for us to learn from his conversion and, in this article, we would like to examine some questions that often arise from this particular case of conversion.

Did Morality Save Cornelius?

    "There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway." (Acts 10:1,2). There is no mistaking the fact that Cornelius was as good a man as you would want to meet. The word "devout" means that he was religious. Many people are "religious" but this does not mean they fear God and have raised their family to do the same but Cornelius had. Cornelius also practiced his religion by helping people in need and he prayed to God at all times.

    There would be many people, preachers included, who would have no doubts that if Cornelius had died at this point in his life he would have gone to Heaven. They believe that if a person is good, honest, pays his debts, is a good husband/wife and father/mother, there is nothing else for a person to do to be saved and God surely would not bar such a person from entering Heaven. The problem with this thinking is that it is merely an emotional argument and not based upon what the Scriptures teach.

    What do the Scriptures teach? In verses 5 and 6 Cornelius is told: "And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do." The Scriptures tell us that Cornelius had something else he needed to do. When Peter rehearsed this conversion in chapter eleven, he said, "Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved." This clearly shows that though Cornelius was a good moral person, he was not saved. This is one lesson we must learn: Morality alone does not save!

Was Cornelius Saved By Having A Miraculous Experience?

    Acts 10:3 says, "He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius." In many religious circles, people are ask to tell their "experience" which is the evidence of the Lord saving them. While an angel did appear to Cornelius, he did not tell Cornelius that he was saved. Instead, he told Cornelius to "...send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do." Why did the angel not tell Cornelius and save Peter all the trouble of coming from Joppa to Caesarea? The answer is found in 2 Corinthians 4:7- "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." God intends for the gospel to be taught by human beings to human beings; not angelic beings to human beings. This is why the angel did not tell Cornelius nor does an angel tell anyone else what to do to be saved. Even the Lord Himself did not tell Saul what to do to be saved but, instead, told him to go into Damascus and it would be told him what to do. (Acts 9:1-6).

    The appearance of the angel to Cornelius was not to give him an experience for him to go to Peter and have Peter to declare him to be saved because of the experience. The lesson for us to learn is that neither an appearance of the Lord nor angels is to serve as evidence that we are saved.

Did Holy Spirit Baptism Save Cornelius?

    Many contend that because Cornelius and his house received Holy Spirit baptism, this was in order to save them. Indeed, the Holy Ghost came upon them as it also had come upon the apostles in Acts 2. "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days." (Acts 10:44-48). In rehearsing the story, Peter said, "And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?" (Acts 11:15-17). The Jews, which accompanied Peter, were astonished for they were seeing the Gentiles receive the Holy Ghost but this is only the second time this had occurred. Peter points out to the Jews in Jerusalem that the Holy Ghost fell on them (Cornelius and his house), as on us (apostles) at the beginning(day of Pentecost, Acts 2).

    No, the baptism of the Holy Ghost was not an everyday occurrence in that day nor in this day. In fact, these are the only two recorded cases of Holy Spirit baptism in the New Testament. The apostles received it because it was a promise from Jesus to enable them to remember the truth Jesus had taught them (John 14:26). It also enabled them to confirm God’s word - “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” (Mark 16:20) The reason Cornelius and his house received Holy Spirit baptism was for the same conclusion the Jews in Jerusalem reached: “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” (Acts 11:18)

    For the Holy Spirit to be given to Cornelius and his house was evidence that God included the Gentiles in His scheme of redemption. That is why Peter proceeded to command them to be baptized. Holy Spirit baptism did not remit the sins of Cornelius and his house for that was never the purpose of it. Holy Spirit baptism was a promise and never a command. What is a command is the same thing Peter commanded - water baptism. The things Peter taught Cornelius resulted in their being baptized. This is exactly the same thing that resulted in Acts 2 when Peter preached to those in Jerusalem. When they asked, "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."(Acts 2:37,38).

    Today, we can be saved from sin by doing what Cornelius did. Not by just being a good moral person. Not by some miraculous experience. Not by expecting to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Instead, we must hear God’s word and do what it says by being baptized in the name of the Lord.
 —E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

SENTENCE SERMONS

You can't do much about your ancestors, but you can influence your descendants enormously. 

 


"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in the next mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr. 

SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
meeting at
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Sunday
Bible Classes …………..….……………     9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….………  10:30 AM
Evening Worship   …………………........ 5:00 PM
Wednesday
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
 

Radio Program
Sunday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM …………………………..  8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
 

Website: www. eastalbertville.org

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