What The Bible Says
“What The Bible Says - Vol. 4 / No.11”
What The Bible Says
Vol. IV - No. 11 / October 24, 2021
"RENOVATE MY FAMILY"
Reality shows are the norm for television today. People have become fascinated with the "real life drama" of other peoples lives and how they react to adverse situations. One of the genre's of reality shows are the makeover programs where families receive new homes, new looks and new everything. The criterion for families to be considered is based upon their needs, their sacrifice for others or some type of tragedy befalling them. No one can doubt the wonderful blessings many people have received from others as they have their homes remodeled, their appearance enhanced and new hope given to their lives. The attention given programs such as this is how needy people are given such wonderful gifts from others. It speaks well of many communities who are willing to go to such extremes to help their fellow man.
However (and there is always a “however"), a point that is missing in these exercises of human benevolence is the true reality of life. While the remodeling, remaking and renewing of lives are wonderful for television, when the lights go off, the cameras stop humming and the crowds go home life remains in much the same manner it was before. The families are able to enjoy life more than before the makeover but the change has taken place largely only on the outside. Renovating a family takes more than a nice home, nice looks and nice clothes.
Society portrays happiness as the attainment of material things. While tragedy and sorrow fall upon all of us, the true worth of reality is found in the renewal of the inward person. These are the changes that are worth living for. If you take a bum off the street and dress him in a $1,000 suit you have a bum in a $1000 suit. The application is that window dressing does not solve the more pressing needs of man. The character of a man or the inward self must be changed to find true fulfillment. King Solomon found all the things that men seek for today. He found wisdom (Ecclesiastes 1:12-18); pleasure and wealth (2:1-11) and pondered fame (1:1-11) but all was vanity. The word vanity is something that is of "no profit under the sun" (2:11).
There is joy and excitement at a new bike but after time, it is neglected and forgotten. Why? Material things rust and break down in time and then soon laid aside. An interesting study for reality shows would be the follow up ten years (or more) later when the families have lived in their new homes and the question is examined as to how these things truly changed their lives.
Life changes measured by material gain are fleeting. Changes made to the life of a person will last forever. The apostle Paul described the value of changing the inner person rather than focus on the outer person. "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). Seeking those things that are above (Colossians 3:1,2) have true worth; seeking the things of this earth have no lasting value (2 Peter 3:10).
Jesus did not come to change the economic, political or social status of man. He came to impress His life upon their hearts. From hearts filled with the will of Jesus Christ, changes will take place that are eternal. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul" (Mark 8:36-37)? Renovation of the family can only take place when Christ is the center of the family, the central theme of our lives, valued above all earthly possessions and whose footsteps we carefully walk after each day. Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:13-14: “'Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’"
One of the most, if not the most, often heard reply from someone in a Bible discussion is, “I can interpret it one way and you another”. This is the most absurd thing that can be said in matters of religion. This seems a direct insult to the Almighty God by saying, “I can see it my way and you can see it your way”.
In matters of weights and measures this principle is not so. When you go to the grocery store to buy a pound of hamburger, would you be willing to accept 12 ounces for a pound? Of course not! We insist on the standard of 16 ounces to make a pound. To arrive at this answer we would go to the authority of weights and measures. Neither would you be willing to accept what the butcher THOUGHT was a pound but would insist it be weighed on an accurate and reliable scale.
In mathematics, what if one person insisted 2+2=4, another person insisted 2+2=5 and another person insisted 2+2=6? To settle the matter all we would have to do is go to the standard of authority in mathematics and find the answer. By having a standard of authority we can determine the absolute value and thus the correct answer. Can we not see a parallel to these things and the scriptures? In the realm of weights and measures, if everyone’s opinion was the standard of authority, there would be no absolutes and nothing but confusion and misunderstanding would be the result. The same thing applies to God’s word. “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…” (1 Cor. 14:33). If it is true that everybody has a right to their own belief and can interpret the Bible anyway so as to suit themselves, this would make God a respecter of persons in that He would save one person one way and, at the same time, save another person bye one other way. No, my friends, God is no respecter of person (Acts10:34). God is the Savior of them that do HIS WILL (Matthew 7:21).
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21). What is this verse having us to understand? It is as plain as the words in which it is spoken! THERE IS NO PRIVATE INTERPRETATION OF THE SCRIPTURES! God moved them! He directed them! He guided them! Hence, we have a revealed will of God with us in book form. It is our ONLY rule and guide or authority. GOD’S WORD IS THE ABSOLUTE; THE STANDARD FOR THE THINGS WE ARE TO BELIEVE AND PRACTICE! We cannot be united on God’s word unless we recognize it as the ONLY source of authority in religious matters. We can either accept or reject what God’s word teaches but we are not the interpreters of it.
By looking at a few passages of scripture, let’s see how we can twist them and then say, “You can see it your way and I can see it mine”. In Mark 16:15-16 it says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel…”. What interpretation does that verse need? None! The gospel is to be preached to all the world. The next verse, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved”. What interpretation does this verse need? Again, none! In order to be saved we must believe and be baptized. Is this not the interpretation God left for us in His inspired word concerning being saved? There is no other interpretation than that which God has given: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved”. Is a pound any less or any more than 16 ounces? Is a foot in measure any more or less than 12 inches. Can a person be saved without being baptized? The answer to all these questions is not left up to our own opinion. The answers have an absolute. It is not a question of how I see it or how you see it but whether we are going to accept the standard. We will either accept it or reject it. We cannot change it!
—E.R. Hall, Jr.
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--- E.R. Hall, Jr.
SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Bible Classes …………..….…………… 9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….……… 10:30 AM
Evening Worship …………………........ 5:00 PM
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
Website: www. EastAlbertville.org