What The Bible Says

What The Bible Says

“What The Bible Says - Vol. 1 / No. 3”

What The Bible Says

Vol. I - No. 3 / July 1, 2018


    Often people say, "Have you been saved?" or "Have you been born again"? There is another way those questions might be asked: "Have you been ‘risen with Christ'"? Writing by inspiration to the Christians at Colossae, the apostle Paul said, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1).

    To be a Christian means to be "risen with Christ". Have you? Let us understand Paul is not talking about a physical resurrection from the grave anymore than Jesus was talking about a physical birth in John 3:3-5. What does it mean to be "risen with Christ"? The answer is found in Romans 6:3-5: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:" Through baptism into Christ, we were baptized into His death. If we have been "planted together in the likeness of His death", we are also in the "likeness of His resurrection”. We have been "risen with Christ"! But notice, this resurrection can not come about except that we first be "baptized into His death"!

    A majority of religious people want to be saved, born again, or risen with Christ but refuse and deny that which is essential for these things to come about - BAPTISM! The inspired apostle also stated in Colossians 2:12: "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." There must be a burial before there can be a resurrection. We must be baptized into Christ in order that we be "risen with Him".
—E.R. Hall, Jr.



        It may come as a surprise, especially to younger readers, that many of the social works churches engage in (recreational teams sponsored, plays and pageants, day-care centers, retreats, showers and teas, physical exercise classes, providing walking tracks, gymnasiums, financial counseling, etc.) are of very recent origin. The fact that something is of recent origin does not necessarily make it unscriptural, but this is mentioned due to the fact that there was practically universal rejection of these practices among churches of Christ as little as fifty to fifty-five years ago.

    In 1951, B.C. Goodpasture was editor of the Gospel Advocate, a periodical written and published by a number of gospel preachers. The Advocate published the Gospel Advocate Annual Lesson Commentary primarily written with Bible teachers in mind. In that book, bro. Goodpasture wrote:

"It is not the mission of the church to furnish amusement for the world or even for its own members. Innocent amusement in proper proportion has its place in the life of all normal persons but it is not the business of the church to furnish it...The church was not established to feature athletics.. .For the church to turn aside from its divine work to furnish amusement and recreation is to pervert its mission. It is to degrade its mission. .. Building recreation rooms, and providing and supervising recreational activities at the expense of the church, is a departure from the simple gospel plan as revealed in the New Testament...The church might as well relieve the parents of feeding and disciplining all of the young people at church expense as to take over the job of entertaining and supervising the recreation at church expense" (page 229).

    It is interesting that most churches claiming to be "of Christ" that build, maintain, and fund these social works now are strong supporters of the Advocate. Obviously, changes came along the way. We are not arguing that because something is of recent origin it is unscriptural, we are simply calling attention to the fact that brethren have changed, and that what now is considered common was universally and vehemently opposed by gospel preachers and a leading journal among Christians only fifty years ago.

    At some point, Christians changed in their thinking and believed it was scriptural to take money contributed to the church for its work, to construct buildings which included kitchens and large dining rooms, commonly called "fellowship halls." These were not built to feed needy saints, but to provide social functions for well-fed Christians. Whereas the primary work of the church is to preach the gospel (I Tim. 3:15; I Thess. 1:8), edify saints through teaching (I Tim. 3:15; Eph. 4:11-16), and take care of its own indigent members (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35; 6:1-6; 11:27-30; Rom. 15:25, 26; 1 Cor. 16:1-4; II Cor. 8-9), a philosophy known as the “social gospel" began to be prominent in the latter half of the Twentieth Century, emphasizing an ideal social order that is believed to be achieved by solving social problems. Rather then emphasizing the need for salvation from sins and things eternal, a shift in thinking came that prompted brethren to expend the churches’ resources and funds in solving economic, health, and other social related issues. Catering to the needs of the “whole man," churches began providing childcare, entertainment, mothers' day out, etc.

    Therefore, the issue is not whether or not brethren should enjoy meals and recreational times together; rather it is a question of authority. Does the New Testament give Divine authority for churches to provide for these things from their treasuries? Keep in mind that Jesus said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name east out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work lawlessness" (Matt. 7:22-23). "Lawless" works are those for which there is no divine authority, no "law" from God that would authorize their practice. 

    Though some may think they are "helpful" and that they "do good," if something is not authorized; one goes beyond the doctrine of Christ and has not God when he engages in its practice (II John 9).
—Phillip Owens



You are where you are and what you are because of the dominating thoughts that occupy your mind.


You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.


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--- E.R. Hall, Jr. 

For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
meeting at
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
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