What The Bible Says

What The Bible Says

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What The Bible Says - Vol. 1 / No. 23

Sunday, April 07, 2019

What The Bible Says

Vol. I - No. 23 / April 7, 2019

DON'T STOP THE PLOW TO KILL A MOUSE!  

    This is an adage. I saw a cartoon, showing two heavy turning plows, two big mules hitched to each plow. Both teams were standing idle while one plowman held up a mouse he had killed and the other was looking on with much admiration. 

      This is a good illustration on the subject of first things first. Let the less important things wait for the more important things to be done first. I have seen the time when killing a few score rats seemed of just about top priority.  It was necessary to save what the plows had made. 

      The gospel plow has been slowed by the tendency on the part of churches to spend "gospel money" on entertainment and fancy buildings.  Spending thousands for fellowship halls, camp grounds, etc., wastes money sorely needed for sowing the seed of the kingdom. 

    But a favorite complaint against us who insist upon close adherence to the Scriptures is that we "major in minors." Or, we "make mountains out of molehills." Or, we "stop the plow to kill a mouse."  A man who preached and who sprinkled water for baptism admitted to me that the Bible teaches that baptism is a burial. But he thought we should just preach to save souls and not to take up valuable time arguing about nonessentials. He thought I was stopping the plow to kill a mouse. That’s what brethren said who introduced the missionary society and instrumental music. They thought brethren who opposed them were wasting time on very insignificant issues. 

    Now that institutions of human origin have been built to take the place of the local church, and churches are engaged in recreation and entertainment, many make it a light matter. They do not consider them that important. I hear that some brethren are really opposed to these practices but just do not preach on them. Well, I can see no reason for neglecting preaching on them except that they do not believe they are serious enough to merit their attention and time. 

    In fact, there is a trend now among many, many preachers to neglect "first principles" or opposition to false doctrines. They preach sermons, with very few exceptions, that any denominational preacher would endorse. They preach on moral issues they can become very excited when a vote on alcoholic beverages is coming up. They can preach fine, inspirational sermons.  But denominational people would never see the differences in their errors and the simple New Testament plan. The preacher who gets down to the detailed errors of denominationalism is, to their way of thinking, killing mice. 

    “O, that is such a small insignificant thing. Stop quarreling over non-essentials and join in the fight for the weightier matters of the gospel!"  This is the refuge of all religionists who can not produce Scripture for their practices, whether denominationalists or erring brethren. Even if departures from truth seem small, others will inevitably follow. We should be diligent to follow the New Testament in everything. And if we once assume an attitude that little errors are not worth bothering with, we are simply preparing ourselves to swallow big errors.
 —Gardner S. Hall
via Gospel Power, Vol. 16, No. 15, April 12, 2009

 

UNITY IN CHRIST

       The seriousness of not abiding in the doctrine of Christ is stated in 2 John 9: "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God." We are commanded to "speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you;" (1 Cor. 1:10). We should be able to do today what the apostle Paul did in his day for he preached the same thing in every church (1 Cor. 4:17). Try that today and see how many churches would permit such.

    While most churches profess to follow the Bible, they also have their creeds both written and unwritten. While the doctrine of Christ teaches there is one church (body) in Ephesians 1:22,23 and 4:4, people today teach all churches are right so just "join the church of your choice". There can be no unity in Christ when the Scriptures teach one thing and folk say another. The organization of the church, found in the New Testament, is made up of bishops (elders), deacons, and saints (Philippians 1:1) but "churches" today have elaborate organizational structures with law-making bodies such as conferences, conventions, associations, and synods. The work of the Lord's church is to minister to needy saints, preach the gospel, and spiritually build up the saints (Ephesians 4:12). "Churches" today have taken on the work of providing recreation and entertainment to cater to the physical part of man and actively involving themselves in political and social reform.

    Unity in Christ teaches the necessity of faith (Hebrews 11:6) but doctrines of men teach faith exclusively in their doctrines of "faith only" and a person is saved the moment they believe. James 2:17,24 teaches that "faith only" results in a "dead" faith. The doctrine of Christ teaches that baptism is "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38) while doctrines of men teach baptism has nothing to do with being saved. Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12 teaches that baptism is being "buried" with Christ but men teach baptism is sprinkling or pouring. The Bible teaches baptism is for those who “believe" (Mark 16:16) and are able to "repent" (Acts 2:38) while churches today practice baptizing infants who are too young to believe the gospel and too young to have sins to repent of.

    The New Testament teaches we are to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in worship to God (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16) while today's churches play upon mechanical instruments of music and sing rock gospel, country gospel, bluegrass gospel, and contemporary gospel. There never can be unity in Christ until we are willing to "abide in the doctrine of Christ"
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

HE MADE JUST ONE MISTAKE

1.     He brushed his teeth twice a day with a nationally advertised toothpaste.
2.     The doctor examined him twice a year.
3.     He slept with a window open for fresh air.
4.     He stuck to a diet of fresh vegetables.
5.     He golfed - but never more than 18 holes at a time.
6.     He got at least eight hours of sleep each night.
7.     He never smoked nor drank nor lost his temper.
8.     He was all set to live to be a hundred.
 
The funeral was held last Wednesday. He is survived by 18 specialists, 4 health institutes, 2 gymnasiums and numerous manufacturers of antiseptics and health foods.
 
    He just made one mistake! He forgot God. He lived as if this world was all that counted. Now he exists with those who say, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved” (Jeremiah 8:20).
 
    If you should die tonight, where would you spend eternity?
—John Shadowens

 

"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. 22

Sunday, March 24, 2019

What The Bible Says

Vol. I - No. 22 / March 24, 2019

THE BIBLE IS UNDERSTANDABLE   

    The multitude of different church buildings downtown in every city stands as a sad reminder of religious division and confusion. In man's loss of unity, he is tempted to blame God and His word, the Bible. Men conclude that, since we do not understand the Bible, then the Bible cannot be understood. This is a most serious and fundamental error. Furthermore, it is a personal attack on either God's goodness or His ability to communicate to men. The Bible declares plainly that it can be understood.

    The Bible gives a man all the truth that he needs to please God: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correct-ion, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Even though we do not have the record of every thing Jesus did on earth, we have what we need to understand, believe and be saved. “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name" (John 20:30-31). It is the truth that will make us free as Jesus said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31,32). Jesus has provided that truth for us today in the pages of the Holy Bible.

    It is clear from the Bible itself that God intended for us to understand and obey it. Paul said, "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (Eph. 5:17). He also made it clear that God’s revelation of the Bible through Him could be understood upon reading. "...How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)" (Eph. 3:4).

    Some parts of the Bible are more difficult than others. Peter said, "...Even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction" (2 Pet. 3:15-16). Even though it takes more study to understand some of the Scriptures, you will notice in this passage that God neither condoned nor excused the error that was taught because of Bible misunderstanding. He rather pointed out that the misusers of the Bible brought their own destruction. People will be lost in hell because they misuse the Scriptures to teach error.

    In a time of flooding religious error and misunderstanding of the Bible let us not blame God and His word, but with great determination find the truth revealed within the pages of the Holy Bible and unite on that truth to salvation. May God richly bless our efforts to know and do His will.
—Dwight McGee

 

SOME BIBLE FOOLS

       Who is a fool? This is not left for us to answer for more times than not we are partial. The Bible plainly tells us who is a fool for God knows man inside and out. “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:13).

HE WHO SAYS THERE IS NO GOD. (Psalms 14:1). Why would anyone say there is no God? It is certainly not because of a lack of evidence for His existence. All the natural world around us serves as that evidence (Psalms 19:1). He believes there is no God because that is what he wants to believe. A sinner would wish there was no God for then he would have no One with whom to reckon nor give an account. Then, too, there are folks who live so long without God they begin to think there is none. What would be gained by doing away with God? We would be free to do as we will! That’s what some people want, anyway.

HE WHO TRUSTS IN HIS OWN HEART. This is the person who depends on his own judgement and refuses God’s council. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15). Why is this person a fool? Because our hearts are subject to error. Even the wisest people can be wrong. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25). “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23). The self-confident fool does not glorify God. It is, indeed, folly to believe in God and yet not do what He tells us to do. “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). Our hearts are not to be trusted. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). So, we must never set our hearts above what God has revealed in His word. Just as the sailor is a fool who trusts his judgement rather than the compass, we are a fool to trust our own feelings and judgements over what God’s word teaches.

HE WHO HEARS BUT DOES NOT OBEY. “And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:26,27). He is foolish because he thinks there is virtue in hearing but hearing is vain unless it is followed by obedience. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22). For anyone to be a hearer of God’s word and not a doer, is to show they are not in fear of the Judgement day. Yet in that day whether we have obeyed or not will have serious consequences “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

HE WHO DOES NOT PREPARE HIMSELF. Those whom Jesus refers to in Matthew 25:1-13 were fools because they lived only for the present. They forgot about judgement to come and it was not real to them that “...we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10). They are fools because they do not heed the repeated admonition to be ready and to watch. Instead, they sought to find solace in other things. They may have thought that the fact they were invited was sufficient to assure them a place in the wedding but because of their own neglect they were refused admittance. Claims to being a Christian are all around us but the proof of the claim lies in whether or not we are "the will of the Father” (Matthew 7:21). The life we are living must be in harmony with the will of the Father as expressed in the New Testament or else we will be workers of “iniquity”. (Matthew 7:23). We live in this life to prepare. If we become too busy with things of this world that keeps us from putting the kingdom of God and His righteousness first (Matthew 6:33), we will hear Him say, “Depart”. We will have played the fool. May we not neglect but prepare to appear before Him in judgement.
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 


"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. 21

Sunday, March 10, 2019

What The Bible Says

Vol. I - No. 21 / March 10, 2019

SETTING OUR SPIRITUAL CLOCKS

    Several years ago it was reported that the telephone operator in a town in Cape Cod received a call every morning asking for the correct time. Finally, overcome with curiosity, she asked the inquirer, "Would you mind telling me why you call about this time every day and ask for the correct time?" "Sure, I'll tell you," the man said. "I want to get the exact time because I'm the man who blows the whistle at twelve o'clock." Well, that's funny, that is," said the operator, "because every day at the stroke of noon I set our clock by your whistle.”

    How often do we set standards for ourselves based on what others are doing -- without even considering what standard they are following? It is good to follow the examples of others ONLY IF those setting the examples are following the CORRECT standard themselves. This seems to be Paul's point in Philippians 3:16b-17 when he states, "let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern." To follow the example of others without being aware of what standard they themselves are following is the height of folly. The Scriptures speak of those who, "measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise" (2 Corinthians 10:12).

SETTING YOUR WATCH

    Every individual has a personal standard which he takes with him everywhere. He may either choose to follow it or ignore it. This inner standard is the conscience. Like a wristwatch that we may check through the day to keep us "on time," the conscience can be used to keep us on the right track if it has been correctly set. But the conscience can be set by a false standard. Saul of Tarsus lived "in all good conscience" when he was a blasphemer and persecutor of Christians (Acts 23:1; 1 Timothy 1:13). The individual who sets his watch by asking a stranger on the street for "the correct time" is a lot like a man who sets his moral standards and religious beliefs by others.

    This careless conscience setting is seen, for example, in a Christian whose conscience allows him or her to wear immodest attire because "it is not as immodest as what others wear" or "other Christians dress like this." It is seen in the person who believes that they can be saved by "faith only," not because they ever read it in the Scriptures (see James 2:24), but because that's what their parents or grandparents believed.

SETTING YOUR “CHURCH CLOCK”

    Groups of people sometimes also set their collective conscience by an uncertain standard. In the days of the judges, Israel pled for a king; they wanted to be "like all the nations" (1 Samuel 8:5). As a group of people, they had set their clock by the surrounding nations. In doing so, they rejected the Lord as their standard of authority (1 Samuel 8:7).

    Even so, many churches today set their programs of work according to what surrounding churches (denominations) are doing. Children's church, Easter observances, and "rallies" to entertain the young people are just a few of the practices adopted by some churches of Christ (so-called) which illustrate this point. Each of these things have been done among denominations for decades, and now some churches of Christ are setting their clocks accordingly. Not one of these practices can be found in Scripture, either by command, statement, apostolic example or necessary conclusion. These practices are of human origin. Jesus said, "in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9).
  —Steve Klein

 

THE NARROW MINDEDNESS OF JESUS

    Some think that Jesus accepts anything and everything. Some believe like the song sung by Tom T. Hall a few years ago: "Jesus and I have our own thing going." We must be as broad minded and narrow minded as He is.

JESUS IS NARROW CONCERNING HIMSELF.

    Jesus said, "I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE; no man cometh unto the Father but by ME." (John 14:6 - Emphasis mine, ERH). This leaves no room for Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, nor anyone else. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12). We have no options here; it's Jesus or else! That's very narrow minded, wouldn't you agree? Are we narrow minded as Jesus or are we willing to allow for a little more broad minded view when it comes to world religions and the "multi-cultural" society in which we and our children are growing up in?

JESUS IS NARROW IN HIS AUTHORITY. "

   And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." (Matthew 28:18). Since ALL power has been given unto Him and "He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence." (Colossians 1:18), this again is very narrow. Are we as narrow minded as Jesus when it comes to whose authority that we recognize? Or are we a little more broad minded and allow for the authority assumed by the Pope? What about the authority of man-made creeds? What about the denominational conferences and conventions which have legislative power to impose constitutions and by-laws which churches are duty bound to abide by?

JESUS IS NARROW IN HIS VIEW OF SALVATION.

   Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16). Notice, it is not: BELIEVE, SAVED, THEN BAPTIZED. It is: BELIEVE, BAPTIZED, THEN SAVED. Someone says, "That's being too narrow!" Not so! That is no more narrow than to tell you my phone number is 393-6044. What if you insisted it would be just the same to dial 393-4406, would that number dial my telephone? No! Is it being narrow to have things in the right sequence? Of course not! If we want to go to heaven we must do God's will in the right sequence or we'll never make it. Jesus is just that narrow!

    If we insist upon that which Jesus' word teaches it may cause us to be accused of being narrow minded but so be it. We MUST BE just as narrow as He is!
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

SENTENCE SERMONS

In trying times -- don't quit trying!
***
Every crisis in life makes us bitter or better -- it's our choice.
***
He who angers you controls you.
***
Example is a language that anyone can read.

 


"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. 20

Sunday, February 24, 2019

What The Bible Says

Vol. I - No. 20 / February 24, 2019

"ALLEGORY OF GALATIONS 4"

    In Galatians 4:21-31, the inspired apostle Paul gives an “allegory”. An allegory is defined by Webster as “a story in which people, things, and happenings have another meaning”. W.E. Vine, in his Expository Dictionary Of New Testament Words, states that an allegory “came to signify to speak, not according to the primary sense of the word, but so that the facts stated are applied to illustrate principles. The allegorical meaning does not do away with the literal meaning of the narrative.” (Vol. 1, page 47). 

    The verses already referred to in Galatians 4 give the literal story of an event in the life of Abraham involving his wife, Sarah, her son, Isaac, Sarah’s handmaid, Hagar, and her son, Ishmael. We can read the details of this story in Genesis 16. What makes Galatians 4 an allegory is the principle that is being taught based upon this literal story. Each of these characters are used to represent something and Paul is very clear to identify what each represents. He states in verses 21 through 24 that this is an allegory about the two covenants. Hagar, the bondwoman, represents the covenant given at Mount Sinai which corresponds to the law God gave to Moses for the children of Israel in Exodus chapters 19 and 20. Her son, Ishmael, represents those who keep that law, who answers to Jerusalem that now is, and are in bondage under that law. The bondage referred to is the bondage of sin. The law of Moses could not forgive sin unto those who lived under that law. “But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:3,4). This is why in Galatians 4:24, Paul states it is a law “which gendereth to bondage”.

    However, Sarah represents the covenant which is from “Jerusalem which is above” (verse 26). It is a covenant which makes us “free”. Jesus said, as recorded in John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” In John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” We also read in John 1:17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”. Since Jesus is “truth” and “truth came by Jesus Christ” and truth is what makes us “free”, then the covenant which Sarah represents is the New Covenant or the New Testament which reveals the law of Christ. (Hebrews 1:1,2).

    Sarah’s son, Isaac, represents Christians, the children of promise (Galatians 4:28). For we, like Isaac, “are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free” (verse 31). The covenant we are under today is the gospel and it is “the mother of us all” (verse 26). “And he said unto them, Go ye into ALL the world, and preach the gospel to EVERY creature.” (Mark 16:15). (Emphasis mine, ERH)

    What happened to the covenant of which Hagar represents. The story of Genesis 16 continues into chapter 21 and Paul quotes from Genesis 21:10 in Galatians 4:30 when he says, “Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” The lesson to be learned from this allegory is that, today, you and I have been redeemed from the law of Moses that God gave at Mount Sinai. In Galatians 3:13,14 we read, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” The law of Moses served the purpose God intended it to serve and that is found in Galatians 3:19,24: “(19)Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. (24)Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” And now since that purpose has been served and that system of faith or belief, the New Testament, has come “...we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” (verse 25). Being under the New Testament which is the law of Christ, we are of the seed of Abraham and heirs according to the promise (verse 29). When did this occur? “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”(verse 27).

    In chapter 5 of Galatians, Paul shows that we cannot do part of the law of Moses without becoming a debtor to do all of it. “For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” (5:3,4). What is true of circumcision under the law is true of animal sacrifices, incense, mechanical instruments of music, keeping the Sabbath day, eating pork and catfish, and any other thing which we do not find commanded in the New Testament.

    If we are to offer animal sacrifices and burn incense today, we must find authority for such in the law of Christ, the New Testament. If we can use mechanical instruments of music in worship to God today, we must find authority of them in the law of Christ, the New Testament. If I, as a Christian, am to keep the Sabbath day, I must find authority for it’s observance in the law of Christ, the New Testament. If I, as a Christian, am to refrain from eating pork, catfish, rabbit, or any other kind of meat prohibited under the law of Moses, I must find the prohibition for it in the law of Christ, the New Testament. In all we do or refrain from doing, we must find authorization in no other law other than the law of Christ, the New Testament. 

-E.R. Hall, Jr.

 


"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. 19

Sunday, February 10, 2019

What The Bible Says

Vol. I - No. 19 / February 10, 2019

"NOT OF WORKS..." (Eph. 2:9)

    Many people believe and teach very strongly that the salvation of our souls is not dependent whatsoever on works. They are quick to quote Ephesians 2:8,9 as their proof. Yet, verse 10 says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." How can our salvation not be dependent on works when God has created us unto GOOD WORKS and has ordained (decreed) that we should WALK IN THEM? Could it be that the "works" mentioned in verse nine are of a certain kind or type of works that will not save us? This must be so or else the Scriptures contradict themselves. Therefore, it is for us to search out what the Scriptures teach concerning the works that will not save us as opposed to the good works that God has created us to walk (live) in. To simply make a blanket statement that "works have nothing to do with saving us" is a doctrine of man and not founded upon the pages of God's word.

    The Scriptures are very clear to point out the type of works that will NOT SAVE us:

   WORKS OF THE LAW OF MOSES. "And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13:39). "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16). To justify such works as observing the Sabbath or using mechanical instruments of music in worship to God based on Old Testament teaching are works that will not save us despite our sincerity.

   WORKS OF OUR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS. "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;” (Titus 3:5). "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." (Romans 10:3). Anything you, I, or anyone else concocts and makes it a matter of faith, is our “own righteousness". Only God's commandments are righteousness (Psalms 119:172). In Jesus' day, the Pharisees made the washing of hands a religious act. This was of their own righteousness and Jesus sternly rebuked them for it (Matthew 15:1,2). Whenever we establish our own righteousness, we likewise transgress the commandment of God. Again, doing works of our own righteousness will never save us regardless of how long we’ve done them or how sincere we may be.

   DEAD/WICKED WORKS. "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God," (Hebrews 6:1) "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14). "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.” (Colossians 1:21). Dead/wicked works are the "evil deeds" that are spoken of in such passages as John 3:19, 20 and 2 John 1:11. Dead/wicked works will never save us even though "everybody is doing it" is sometimes given as justification.

    At the same time, the Scriptures teach the kind of works that are pleasing to God:

   THE WORKS OF GOD. "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:28,29). These folks must have had a better understanding about the necessity of works than some people today. Those who teach "works have nothing to do with saving us" would have never asked this question. Why ask such a question when works aren't important, according to them? There are things that God commands or requires. When we do those things, we are doing a work but it is not a work of our own righteousness nor is it a dead or wicked work. It is a work of God because it originated from God. These two verses also point out something very strange. The same folks that say "works have nothing to do with saving you", teach that you must have faith. Well, these verses tell us that faith is a work! Oh, but, if I hear them correctly, they're saying, "Works don't save us!" If that is true, we can be saved without faith because faith is a work. Do you see the dilemma that is created when we begin to use one scripture against another? The Scriptures harmonize! They do not contradict!

   GOOD WORKS. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10). God's design, when He created us, was for us to engage in good works. That is what He wants us to "walk in" or, in other words, that is how He wants us to live. The Holy Scriptures have been given to us so that we might know what these "good works" are. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto ALL GOOD WORKS."

    If "works have nothing to do with saving us" as so many people believe, why did Jesus command His disciples to "Let your light so shine before men, that they may SEE YOUR GOOD WORKS, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)? Why did He teach: "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall REWARD EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS WORKS." (Matthew 16:27)? Why are we commanded to "...walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in EVERY GOOD WORK, and increasing in the knowledge of God;" (Colossians 1:10)? Why was Titus instructed to tell Christians: "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to BE READY TO EVERY GOOD WORK," (Titus 3:1)? We must not just be hearers of God's Word but doers. "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a DOER OF THE WORK, this man shall be blessed in his deed." (James 1:21).

    If "works have nothing to do with saving us", why are we told to be careful to maintain good works? "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might BE CAREFUL TO MAINTAIN GOOD WORKS. These things are good and profitable unto men." (Titus 3:8). "And let ours also LEARN TO MAINTAIN GOOD WORKS for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful." (Titus 3:14).

    If works isn’t necessary, what about these verses that have to do with the Judgement Day: "Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; WHOSE END SHALL BE ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS." (2 Cor. 11:15). "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord REWARD HIM ACCORDING TO HIS WORKS:" (2 Tim. 4:14). "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW THEM." (Rev. 14:13).

    Let no one misunderstand; the Scriptures teach salvation is by grace (Eph. 2:5), by the blood of Christ (Matthew 26:26), by faith (Romans 5:1), and by hope (Romans 8:24). Salvation is also by works. "Ye see then how that BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, and not by faith only." (James 2:24). Let's understand the Scriptures so that they harmonize. Truth will always harmonize! Error will always contradict! Study and see for yourself.
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 


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--- 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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